Just a few miles north of the city, the Marin Headlands is a superb spot to escape the hustle and bustle. As a bona fide urbanite, I was curious to find out what hikers, bikers, and bird-watchers have relished for years. In two days, I discovered that San Francisco's backyard offers much more to the intrepid visitor than iconic Golden Gate Bridge snapshots.
Spring has sprung, and at Audubon Canyon Ranch near Stinson Beach, that means the 100 pairs of great egrets and great blue herons which nest there are starting to mate and lay eggs. It also means the wildlife preserve is opening to the public for their visiting season, March 20 - July 11.
If you don't think you can face another holiday weekend in a crowded shopping mall… then don't. Treat yourself to a more meaningful gift than a new toy: a day of wildlife watching in the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore.
Based in the Marin Headlands, the Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research, and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals. Since 1975, the center has rescued and treated more than 14,000 marine mammals, including elephant seals, harbor seals, otters, and California sea lions.